“Farha:” The Brutal Reality of Palestinians


Muhammad Reda

“Farha” represents only a fraction of the crimes and horrid actions done to the Palestinians.

Muhammad Reda, Staff Writer

This movie contains graphic content that will be discussed in this article. Reader discretion is advised. 

“Farha” (2021) is a Jordanian movie that was  released on Netflix Dec first, quickly sparking controversy due to its subject matter and depiction of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Set in a Palestinian village in 1948, a young girl named Farha has everything she could need: a best friend, a loving father, and her dream of going to school in the big city. Unfortunately, she’s living during the Nakba (which means catastrophe in Arabic), which caused the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians from their native homeland and the destruction of around 500 villages.

The movie was plagued with controversy before it was even out, with Zionists claiming it was an antisemitic false narrative, going as far as to even cancel their Netflix subscriptions. However, the movie itself was quite the opposite. It not only does what it was made to do, but it does it very well. It was made to show a small amount of the crimes committed by the IDF, which are often covered up by media and propaganda. Viewers are able to build a deep bond with Farha in a short amount of time. The film does this by showing viewers deep personal moments with the character, such as her conversations with her best friend on a swing set, which allows viewers to connect to her and want her to succeed.

The movie depicts a historical event that many claim never even happened, but this movie is based on a true story and the hardships of a real girl, making the film infinitely more heartbreaking. The cinematography is beautifully done, showing the breathtaking Palestinian countryside. A large chunk of the movie is Farha all alone with no talking, but it doesn’t get boring because it’s so visually appealing.

The main plot points, however, come with controversy. After her village is attacked by Israeli soldiers, Farha is told to leave by her father, but instead, she stays in the village. Her father, fearing for her life, locks her into a room in the house to protect her while he fights for his country and people. It’s from this room that she sees the crimes committed by the IDF, such as the soldiers suspecting a farming family of hiding weapons, despite having no evidence, and proceeding to kill the family by firing squad, including two kids and a newborn baby. This scene is graphic and hard to watch, but it is necessary to the film, as it shows viewers the suffering of Palestinian people, which is often shoved under a rug. 

A historically accurate coming-of-age story done tastefully and professionally with a heartbreaking story:   this movie is well-made with an important message, making it a must-watch for anyone.